LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — Lots of teenagers have cars, but it’s a rare family that can afford to buy their child a brand new vehicle.

But many teens are driving older vehicles that don’t have the best crash protection and lack updated safety technology, according to new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Of 500 parents surveyed, a little more than half said their teen’s vehicle was from the 2006 model year or earlier. IIHS says older vehicles are much less likely to have safety features such as electronic stability control and side airbags.

As a result of the research, IIHS compiled a list of its most-recommended used vehicles that meet important safety criteria for young drivers with several criteria in mind, the first being lower horsepower.

“Vehicles with more powerful engines can tempt [teens] to test the limits,” IIHS says.

There are also no minicars or small cars on the recommended list, because IIHS says bigger, heavier vehicles protect better in a crash.

Electronic stability control is an important feature, too.

“This feature helps a driver maintain control of the vehicle on curves and slippery roads, reduces risk on a level comparable to safety belts,” IIHS says.

IIHS also made sure all the vehicle on the list had the best safety ratings possible. That means good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front test, acceptable ratings in the IIHS side crash test and four or five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The full IIHS list of recommended vehicles is below.

BEST CHOICES: Recommended used vehicles for teens starting under $20,000

Large cars
Saab 9-5 sedan, 2010 and later
Lincoln MKS, 2009 and later
Buick Regal, 2011 and later
Ford Taurus, 2010 and later
Buick LaCrosse, 2010 and later
Volvo S80, 2007 and later

Midsize cars
Toyota Prius, 2012 and later
Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, 2009 and later
Honda Accord sedan, 2012 and later
Audi A4 2009, 2009 and later
Toyota Camry, 2012 and later
Buick Verano, 2012 and later
Subaru Outback, 2010 and later
Lincoln MKZ, 2010 and later; built after April 2010
Kia Optima, 2011 and later
Hyundai Sonata, 2011 and later
Subaru Legacy, 2010 and later
Dodge Avenger, 2011 and later
Audi A3, 2008 and later
Volkswagen CC, 2009 and later
Chevrolet Malibu, 2010 and later; built after November 2009
Chrysler 200 sedan, 2011 and later
Mercury Milan, 2010-11; built after April 2010
Ford Fusion, 2010 and later; built after April 2010
Volkswagen Passat, 2009 and later
Volvo C30, 2008 and later
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, 2009 and later
Volkswagen Jetta, 2009 and later

Small SUVs
Honda CR-V, 2012 and later
Kia Sportage, 2011 and later
Hyundai Tucson, 2010 and later
Subaru Forester, 2009 and later
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, 2011 and later
Volkswagen Tiguan, 2009 and later
Honda Element, 2007 and later

Midsize SUVs
Volvo XC60, 2010 and later
Saab 9-4X, 2011-12
Toyota Highlander, 2008 and later
Toyota Venza, 2009 and later
Ford Edge, 2011 and later; built after February 2011
Ford Flex, 2010 and later
GMC Terrain, 2010 and later
Kia Sorento, 2011 and later
Infiniti EX, 2008 and later
Chevrolet Equinox, 2010 and later
Dodge Journey, 2010 and later
Subaru Tribeca/B9 Tribeca, 2006 and later
Volvo XC90, 2005 and later

Large SUVs
Buick Enclave, 2011 and later
GMC Acadia, 2011 and later
Chevrolet Traverse, 2011 and later

Chrysler Town & Country, 2012 and later
Honda Odyssey, 2011 and later
Toyota Sienna, 2011 and later
Dodge Grand Caravan, 2012 and later
Volkswagen Routan, 2012

GOOD CHOICES: Recommended used vehicles for teens starting under $10,000

Large cars
Acura RL, 2005 and later
Mercury Sable, 2009
Kia Amanti, 2009
Ford Taurus, 2009
Audi A6 sedan, 2005 and later
Hyundai Azera, 2006 and later

Midsize cars
Subaru Legacy, 2009
BMW 3-series sedan, 2006 and later
Mazda 6, 2009 and later
Saturn Aura, 2009
Acura TL, 2004 and later
Volvo S40, 2007 and later
Audi A3, 2006-07
Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, 2005-08
Suzuki Kizashi, 2010 and later
Volvo S60, 2007-09
Audi A4, 2005-08; built after October 2004
Volkswagen Passat, 2006-08
Saab 9-3, 2005 and later

Small SUVs
Nissan Rogue, 2008 and later
Ford Escape, 2009 and later
Mazda Tribute, 2009 and later
Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007 and later
Suzuki Grand Vitara, 2006 and later

Midsize SUVs
Mazda CX-9, 2007 and later
Ford Edge, 2007-10
Hyundai Veracruz, 2007 and later
Hyundai Santa Fe, 2007-10
Honda Pilot, 2006 and later
Saturn Vue, 2008-09
Ford Taurus X, 2008-09
Mazda CX-7, 2007-11
Suzuki XL7, 2008-09

Volkswagen Routan, 2009-11
Dodge Grand Caravan, 2008-11
Chrysler Town & Country, 2008-11
Honda Odyssey, 2005-10
Hyundai Entourage, 2007-08
Kia Sedona, 2006 and later


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